17 December 2017 - Martin Mission to Japan

Version A.. because I hope to add some more visuals 

As Christmas approaches, it’s time for an update!

We have to be careful in the apartment – if we have both heaters on we cannot cook toast or turn on the microwave – else the breaker flips.  Sister Martin is afraid of the breaker because GOOGLE TRANSLATE on her phone says that the words BLOOD and SHOCK are written below it.  Elder Martin just flips it back on.

Our routine office work continues.  But - we did invite families to send an extra package to the office for their missionary.  We have a Mission Christmas Conference on 22 December – so the missionaries could pick up the package here at the office before they return to their various areas.  The out-of-Japan families got the message to send something small and affordable – that can be hand-carried back to the train.  The Japanese families and congregations have approached this from a different perspective. Some of their boxes weight 50 pounds. We may have to parse out the contents to make them portable.

Sister Martin had 15 children attend her English class this week!  New high. Wow!

Sister Martin got to serve as a companion to TWO different young sister missionaries  - at different times -  this week.  She likes helping that way. 

Sister Martin also had an idea to decorate the entry of our office with a Nativity Scene.  We see a lot of Christmas trees at shopping malls here – but very few Nativity Scenes.  She prayed for some help and happily learned that Sister Morelock (in our District) was hoping to find a way to use her artistic skills in some kind of service project.  The Lord brought them together! We hunted up brushes and gold paint in Ikebukuro.  Sister Morelock donated some of her personal time.  Her companion Sis. Thomas gave her support. See the result!  What do you think?

The Japanese people love gift-giving at Christmas time.  You may have seen some of our Facebook posts as Elder Martin participated a little with the young missionaries in sharing the “Light the World” Christmas challenge.  

Here is the short video that introduces the “Light the World” message. 

In brief, we reach out to others in service, concern, and love each day in December as Christmas approaches – as a way of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. 

The missionaries (in groups of 4-8) have shared this message (wearing Santa hats) with passersby at the nearby busy Tokyo train stations.  (See photo at top).

One of our most effective approaches is to have some of the missionaries singing Christmas carols (in English) on the street near the station – not where there are throngs of people - but in an area where there is room for people to stop and listen.  People that stop to listen “self-select” to then be approached by a non-caroling missionary and are asked about their feelings about Christmas – and would they like to learn more. With hundreds of people passing within earshot – it’s not unusual to find a handful of people who really want to hear more in a one-hour period.   It’s also fun to sing about Jesus and surprise the evening rush hour foot traffic. We wish a lot of people “Merry Christmas”.  The children love us.  A few Christians give us hearty “thank-you’s”.  

And… Elder Martin’s “street performer” dream has finally been realized.

I also get to ride my bike to some of these events!

John 8:12     Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

We testify that following Jesus’ example of love and service to others brings His Light into our lives.

We challenge you to strive a little harder to reach out to others this week in acts of kindness!

Love, The Martins

P.S.:  New missionaries arrive this week as others depart for home!


Lori Snyder said…
You are doing great things! You and your wife should feel overjoyed with knowing all the goodness you are doing.

PS 1st video wouldn't work for me.
Berni Patterson said…
The updates are great! Thanks and Merry Christmas to you both! The caroling was a fun video!
Aaron Wettstein said…
Is that Elder Wettstein in your first picture at the busy intersection?